The Greatest Memorial

Text: 1 Corinthians 11:17-34

The Lord’s supper is going back to square one.  It is remembering and resetting your relationship with Jesus Christ.  It is a self examination for someone who is saved, identifying as a Christian, in light of the Lord as their passover lamb.

Desecrating the memorial (vss 17-22)

  • (vs 17) You never imagined you’d hear a pastor or better yet the scripture suggesting it were better if someone had stayed home rather than come to church, but that’s what Paul just said.  
    • What are we here for in comparison to what we are doing.
    • Worship is not “to each his own.”
    • Getting together in “church” and it was doing damage to them.  Not because it was wrong to get together, but they forgot what the point of getting together was.
  • Heretical divisions
    • (vs 18) …I partly believe it.  Paul doesn’t like secondhand information and doesn’t rush to conclusions just because he heard something about someone.  But in this case the information is characteristic of the people.  Like standing in line at Wal Mart and reading in a tabloid headline that a Hollywood marriage broke up.  You may not be a fan of the source of the information, but the information is believable.
    • Heresy is a departure from the very basic elemental truths in the scriptures like salvation, sanctification, second coming, God’s character, the scriptures themselves.  It is a disagreement with God in the foundation.
    • Wheat mixed with the tares.  God allows the tares to grow with the wheat sometimes.  God’s doctrine produces fruit.  The heretical tares can’t produce fruit.
    • They are left in the congregation 1) to highlight the fruit being produced in others.  The tares serve no purpose other than a contrast between what is productive and what is not.  2) because they have some connections to a good crop that would be destroyed if the tares were uprooted.  So you just leave it all be until harvest time.
    • It’s that fruit of the spirit that the tares will envy and argue against.
  • Selfish divisions
    • (vs 20)…therefore…this is not to eat the Lord’s supper.  Since everyone has their own agenda and doctrine, whatever you think you’re doing together, you’re not.  Why?  Because everyone has a different reason for being there.
    • Just because you say that’s what you’re doing doesn’t mean that’s what you’re doing if it isn’t according to the Bible.
    • (vs 21) Many people are there for the entertainment.
    • (vs 22) Paul says, Look, I’m not anti-entertainment, just keep things in their proper place.  There is a time to sanctify the Lord in your heart as a group.  It’s not 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, it’s just a set aside time every week or every few days for a couple hours or so.  Let those couple of hours of sanctified time stay sanctified for that purpose.  You’ve got the rest of the week to do other things.

Direction for the memorial service (vss 23-26)

  • Worship is not “to each his own.”  Paul said, I have received of the Lord that which also i delivered unto you.  Meaning this didn’t start with you or me.
  • Then Paul ties the Lord’s supper to the passover meal and a new testament
  • The Passover was celebrated as a shadow of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.
    • The Passover meal was instituted in Exodus 12:1-11 in the night before Israel was redeemed from Egypt.  The best lamb of the flock had to be killed and its blood posted on the doorposts of the house so God would pass over that family.  If there was no blood from the lamb on the door, then the firstborn in the family would be killed that night.
    • The Lord Jesus Christ would begin his ministry with John the Baptist saying, Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.  Making clear that Jesus Christ is the passover lamb.
  • John 19:14 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!
  • 1 Corinthians 5:7 …For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
  • The new testament described like a “will and testament” that takes effect at the death of a person.
    • Hebrews 10:1-22 describes the fulfillment in detail.
    • A body is prepared to bear the wrath of God for our sins.
    • Emphasis on the body of Jesus Christ for the purpose of offering.
    • In the new testament forgiveness would be once and for all to those who would personally take the Lamb of God and his torn body as the sacrifice for their sin.
  • Why are we doing this?
    • Not for entertainment.
    • Not for salvation.
    • Not to partake in a sacrifice.
  • What God wants
    • This is done in remembrance; it’s a memorial.
    • If you’ve never trusted Jesus Christ as your savior, there is no forgiveness of sins to remember.
    • If you have trusted Jesus Christ as your savior, then this is a reset back to square one.  Your eternal life began with the forgiveness of God the Father on the basis of the Lord Jesus Christ and you were made a new creature from that day.

Duty for the participants  (vss 27-30)

  • So who participates in this memorial?  Saved people who have trusted Jesus Christ as their sacrificial lamb and will examine their own lives in light of that sacrifice.
  • Heard Mike (Ragan) say this, God will fellowship with a Christian with sin in his nature, but not with sin in his heart.
    • Individuals gathering under the “Christian” banner that brought judgment on the individual.
    • This is scary because God the Father is zealous of the body of Christ, which you are if you’re saved, but He is more concerned about the body of Christ than He is about you individually.  Meaning when a person sets his sights on destroying or corrupting the body of Christ God the Father has a way of dealing with that person.
    • When you consider the cross you have to consider your own sin.  You consider your own unworthiness and of his worthiness.
    • 1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
    • 2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
  • Unworthy partaking comes from an unexamined life in light of the body and blood of the Lord.
  • Personally, I always question whether I should partake of the Lord’s supper because I know there is nothing worthy about my life to say OK, we’re good here.  All cleaned up and ready to go.  But that in itself makes me all the more grateful to the Lord Jesus Christ for what he’s done.  And for me, it puts the emphasis on him, where it needs to be.

Desirable motives for the memorial (vss 31-34)

  • Practice self examination in light of the cross of Christ.
  • Unexamined life of a Christian brings the chastening hand of the Lord.
  • The ground is level at the cross so to speak.
  • In verse 34 he says eat at home then show up if you have to so you can come with the right motive.